Civil Rights Movement in America
Jim Crow Laws
o Began after the Civil War when slaves were freed
o Stated that blacks can’t vote
o Provided for the separation of the races in trains, eating places,
schools, and churches
Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896)
o Homer Plessy – 1/8 black, looked white
o Sits in white section of railroad car, then tells conductor he’s
o Plessy is kicked off white railroad car because he has black
blood in him.
o Plessy sues railroad, case goes all the way to the Supreme Court
o Plessy loses – court maintains that Jim Crow laws of separate
but equal are fine.
o Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan said that it was a
sad day in American history.
Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas (1954)
o Linda Brown’s family sued so that she could attend her
neighborhood school which was all white.
o Thurgood Marshall argued the case before the Supreme Court
o Supreme Court rules that separate but equal facilities for
different races is illegal and unconstitutional.
o Schools are ordered to desegregate
1. segregation: separation of races
de jure segregation: segregation by law like in the
segregation de facto: segregation that occurs in fact and
not by law. This was common in the North.
2. integration: the process of bringing races together; also known
3. unconstitutional: doesn’t follow our constitution and,
therefore, violates humans’ civil rights
4. civil disobedience: a peaceful way to protest an unjust law.